Hot Or Cold Water: Which Is Best For Laundry
June 01, 2021
When You Should Use Hot Water
Most laundry detergents have anti-bacterial properties. Even in cold water, laundry comes out fresh and clean. It may not be enough if someone is sick with a cold or the flu. To keep germs from spreading, you want to wash the laundry in hot water. The combination of hot water and detergent will effectively kill any germs on clothing, bedding, and towels.
Nylons, spandex, and similar synthetic fabrics also last longer when washed in hot water. Higher water temperatures are also ideal when you need to get a tough stain out of light-colored clothes, sheets, and towels.
Use Cold Water for Everything Else
Hot water has its downsides. It uses more electricity, resulting in higher energy bills and a larger carbon footprint. Something you may not know, using hot water is contributing to the number of plastics in the water.
Clothes shed microfibers in hot water that ends up in oceans, rivers, and streams. The Ocean Clean Watch estimates that 35% of ocean plastics are microfibers from laundry.
Benefits of Cold Water
Washing in cold water has its benefits. With some energy-efficient washing machines, you can reduce energy usage by up to 90%. It’s a noticeable saving, especially when you get the monthly utility bill. Lower energy usage also leaves a small carbon footprint.
Fabrics shed fewer microfibers in cold water. It’s good for the environment and your clothes.
Want your clothes to last longer? The secret is washing in cold water. Fabrics are less likely to shrink or have bleeding, faded colors. Testing by GE Appliances shows colors stay brighter longer when washed in cold water.
The reduction in microfiber loss not only benefits the environment but also your clothes. Fabrics stay stronger longer. Your favorite outfits will look new even after multiple washings.
A tip to remember, liquid laundry detergent works best in cold water. Powdered detergents do not always fully dissolve and can leave a white residue on your laundry.
Not All Cold Water is the Same
Where you live can affect how clean your clothes get in cold water washes. Regions where the temperature drops below freezing may want to adjust their washer’s settings. Water flowing from the pipes to the washing machine may be too cold for the detergent to dissolve.
Industry experts recommend switching to a cool setting when the water temperature is below 60°F. The cool setting uses both warm and cold water. You are still conserving energy usage, while also ensuring your clothes are thoroughly clean.
There’s a Time For Both
Most people quickly learn there’s a time to use either hot or cold water. Each one has its benefits and works best in specific situations.
Tough stains and germs from illness disappear from fabrics washed in hot water. The downside is hot water is hard on clothes and the environment.
Cold water leaves less of an impact on the ecosystem, especially plastics in the oceans. It’s also easier on fabrics and colors stay bright longer. Best of all, you see a decrease in your energy bills.
Knowing what water temperature to use has its benefits. Your laundry always comes out looking its best. When you don’t have to rewash your clothes, you finally have time to clean your projector screen.